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Ethnic Concentration and Language Fluency of Immigrants in Germany

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  • Alexander M. Danzer
  • Firat Yaman

Abstract

Studies that investigate the effect of the regional ethnic composition on immigrant outcomes have been complicated by the self-selection of ethnic minorities into specific neighbourhoods. We analyse the impact of own-ethnic concentration on the language proficiency of immigrants by exploiting the fact that the initial placement of guest-workers after WWII was determined by labour demanding firms and the federal labour administration and hence exogenous to immigrant workers. Combining several data sets, we find a small but robust and significant negative effect of ethnic concentration on immigrants' language ability. Simulation results of a choice model in which location and learning decisions are taken simultaneously confirm the presence of the effect. Immigrants with high learning costs are inclined to move to ethnic enclaves, so that the share of German-speakers would increase only modestly even under the counterfactual scenario of a regionally equal distribution of immigrants across Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander M. Danzer & Firat Yaman, 2010. "Ethnic Concentration and Language Fluency of Immigrants in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 277, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp277
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Friso Schlitte, 2012. "Local human capital, segregation by skill, and skill‐specific employment growth," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(1), pages 85-106, March.
    2. Javier Ortega & Gregory Verdugo, 2015. "Assimilation in multilingual cities," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(3), pages 785-815, July.
    3. Isphording, Ingo E. & Otten, Sebastian, 2014. "Linguistic barriers in the destination language acquisition of immigrants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 30-50.
    4. Harry P. Bowen & Jennifer Pédussel Wu, 2013. "Immigrant Specificity and the Relationship between Trade and Immigration: Theory and Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 80(2), pages 366-384, October.
    5. repec:zbw:rwirep:0274 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Alexander M. Danzer, 2012. "Economic Benefits of Facilitating the Integration of Immigrants," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(04), pages 14-19, February.
    7. Danzer, Alexander M. & Yaman, Firat, 2010. "Immigranten in Deutschland: Ethnische Enklaven schwächen die Sprachkompetenz, mehr Bildung stärkt sie (Ethnic enclaves tend to weaken language proficiency of immigrants - education strengthens it)," IAB-Kurzbericht 201017, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    8. repec:zbw:rwirep:0536 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Constant, Amelie F. & Schüller, Simone & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2013. "Ethnic Spatial Dispersion and Immigrant Identity," IZA Discussion Papers 7868, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Julia Beckhusen & Raymond J.G.M. Florax & Thomas Graaff & Jacques Poot & Brigitte Waldorf, 2013. "Living and working in ethnic enclaves: English Language proficiency of immigrants in US metropolitan areas," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(2), pages 305-328, June.
    11. Jens Ruhose, 2013. "Bildungsleistungen von Migranten und deren Determinanten – Teil II: Primar-, Sekundar- und Tertiärbereich," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(10), pages 24-38, May.
    12. Dürnberger, Andrea & Drasch, Katrin & Matthes, Britta, 2010. "Kontextgestützte Abfrage in Retrospektiverhebungen: Ein kognitiver Pretest zu Erinnerungsprozessen bei Weiterbildungsereignissen," IAB-Discussion Paper 201020, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    13. Achatz, Juliane & Trappmann, Mark, 2011. "Arbeitsmarktvermittelte Abgänge aus der Grundsicherung : der Einfluss von personen- und haushaltsgebundenen Barrieren," IAB-Discussion Paper 201102, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    14. Schaffner, Sandra & Treude, Barbara, 2014. "The Effect of Ethnic Clustering on Migrant Integration in Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 536, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    15. repec:ces:ifodic:v:9:y:2012:i:4:p:17567569 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    enclave; ethnic concentration; language proficiency; immigrants; Instrumental variable; random utility model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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